Loading a motorhome – 5 tips and tricks you should bear in mind when loading a motorhome

Most motorhomes weigh about 3 tons. This means that you can drive them with a normal class B driver's license. However, there are a few things to consider here with regard to driving safety. Before you start driving your motorhome, you should pay attention to two points in particular in your registration certificate part 1, namely the points "F1" and "G".

Payload motorhome – What you should pay attention to

F1 in the vehicle registration document describes the technically permissible total mass of your vehicle, i.e. how heavy your vehicle can be at maximum, so that you can travel without legal problems and/or loss of safety.

G in the vehicle registration certificate is the mass of the vehicle in operation, or "empty mass". This is the empty weight of your vehicle incl. filled up liquids and about 75kg driver weight.

The difference between these two numbers is the amount of luggage you are allowed to carry. With motorhomes the whole thing is a bit more difficult, because you not only have to think about your luggage, but also about the other cargo on board, such as water or gas.B. Water or gas must think. With campers it is therefore quickly happened that your vehicle is overweight. With a class B driving license you are allowed to move a maximum of 3.5 tons, if your motorhome has an unladen weight of 3000kg, you can load 500kg accordingly. If you now still 100L fresh water, the family, luggage and supplies, this limit is exceeded very quickly and you risk an overload of the motorhome.

To avoid this, you should check before departure how heavy your vehicle is. You can do this manually by adding up how heavy everything is that you are loading, or you can make it easy for yourself and find a caravan scale in your area.

Payload motorhome control at the scales

What happens in case of overloading?

Overloading can have various consequences, such as.B. Damage to the vehicle, effects on the driving behavior and of course a fine and other penalties by the regulatory authorities.


Due to the increasing popularity of motorhomes and caravans and their tendency to be overloaded, more and more weight checks are being carried out. The police checks the vehicles on mobile or stationary scales at freeways and federal or country roads. For overloaded campers it becomes here fast really expensive. No points but there is a fine of up to 35 € for an overload of up to 20%. From 20% one must pay not only a fine, from up to 235€, but one gets also a point in Flensburg.

Abroad it is a little different. In addition to significantly higher penalties, there is also a low or no tolerance with regard to the exceeded total weight. In Austria you quickly pay between 90 and 5000 euros. Also in Spain it is not cheap with between 300 and 700 euros.

The penalty is only one side of the coin. On the way to the vacation weighs more heavily that one may not continue to drive after paying the penalty, but must get rid of the excess payload weight also on site, in order to bring the motorhome back to a drivable condition. With loads such as water, this may still be relatively simple. If there is too much weight due to luggage or supplies, this is not only annoying, but also expensive. The ADAC also points out that accidents with verifiable overweight can also lead to problems with the insurance company.

Weight control of overloaded motorhomes

Effects on the driving behavior

Every kilo changes the driving behavior. The braking distance is extended and the motorhome quickly skids in curves. Many motorhomes also have a rear garage, and here we go with the payload issue. In most vehicles, the rear garage is located directly on or behind the rear axle. If this is loaded too much, it could happen that the motorhome no longer reacts to steering movements and an accident and serious damage will occur.

5 tips and tricks for loading a motorhome

But what can you do to save weight on your trip? Below we present 5 tips and tricks to help you get through the weight check unscathed.

Empty water tank

Just if you stand in the vacation with the motorhome largely on campsites, it is advisable not to fill up the water tank before departure again. On the next place there will be certainly also a water connection. To make coffee while driving, you can simply take the contents of your water bottle. Most motorhomes have a water tank that holds between 80 and 100L of water. So if you empty the tank before your trip or don't fill it up again, you can save up to 100kg in weight.

Stock up

You know it. Before you go camping, you buy everything you need for your vacation. Whether it's the classic ravioli from a can or a case of your favorite beer, the motorhomes are packed full before departure. But what for actually? Most of the well-known German brands can now be bought in many parts of Europe. In addition, products such as pasta or the matching sauce in the southern countries of Europe are not only better, but also usually cheaper. So do not go shopping before the trip, but buy supplies on the spot to save weight on the trip.

Gas bottle

Just in the summer vacation with the motorhome you need only one instead of two gas bottles. Due to the fact that it is warmer, you also have to heat much less. Also, most campers tend to cook less during summer vacation, this also saves gas.

Weight distribution

In order to maintain safety and not affect the driving characteristics of the camper despite a lot of cargo from the camper, you should pay attention to the optimal distribution of your luggage in the individual storage compartments. Heavy items should always be transported as low as possible and in a storage space between the axles. If the manufacturer has installed a double bottom, it is particularly suitable for z.B. Drink bottles. Especially with the load of the rear garage you should be careful. Due to the position behind the axle, too much weight can cause leverage and therefore an imbalance of the axles. This can be a problem for the driver during evasive maneuvers or heavy braking.


When packing for the trip with the motorhome you should always ask yourself one question. "Do I really need that?"Who asks himself this question will notice just with the loading of the motorhome, how often the answer is "No". Due to the many storage compartments, which the manufacturers of modern motorhomes install, many campers tend to pack too much. But do you really need a raincoat in Spain in July??

Have a relaxed vacation without too much luggage

Less weight – less fuel

In addition to the consequences of carrying too much luggage, there are other advantages to traveling with less luggage. Especially when refueling you will notice that your motorhome consumes less due to less weight. According to the rule of thumb, 100kg extra load means an additional consumption of about 0.3 liters per 100km. This may not seem like much at first glance, but it is noticeable in the value of the gas pump when refueling.

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